Immuno Oncology- An All-New Therapy to Fight Cancer

Immuno Oncology- An All-New Therapy to Fight Cancer

Alex D'Souza, Healthcare Tech Outlook | Friday, August 20, 2021

Immuno oncology cell therapy is a recently emerged arm of cancer treatment that has been effective in treating leukemia and lymphoma. After decades of research in the field of cancer therapy, medical research has finally arrived at a method that has given substantially positive results. The medical fraternity is very optimistic regarding immune-oncology cell therapy and is looking to cover many other forms of cancer under this therapy.

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR T-cells) or T-cells are, used in the therapy. The approach involves collecting a patient's T-cells and modifying them in the lab to recognize cancer cells when injected back into the patient's body. This, further, accomplishes the task of making the immune system disrupt the tolerance that the body has to the growth and spread of cancer cells. CD19 is a surface protein present on leukemia and lymphomas. Antibody fragment binds on the CD19 protein molecules and triggers the activation of T cells, thereby making them destroy the cancer cells.   

The approach has not been able to yield fruitful results when it comes to malignant tumors. The limitation comes from the fact that cysts do not have a specific molecule on their surface, which are unique to them and can be, attacked. They have the same molecules as that of other healthy tissues. The matrix of growth of cancerous tumors is very complex, and it creates hindrance to this kind of therapy as well. To overcome this, researchers have identified a different route: rather than targeting molecules on the surface, T-cell should target an internal protein instead.

Enhancing the T-cell receptors or TCR present on the T-cells by engineering them is a possible solution. Stakeholders are in the process of finding ways to strengthen the TCRs to help them target tumors. The engineered TCRs are to be, put into the patients T-cells. These enhanced T-cells, when compared to the naturally occurring T-cells of the body, are much more powerful and can multiply and kill tumors.

The expectations from the immune-oncology therapy are continuously growing. Engineered TCRs have given researchers and companies new hope in devising cancer treatment methods. Patients in need of treatment will soon have better options for overcoming cancer.

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